Alec Burnside

Alec Burnside Dechert antitrust lawyer in Brussels

Alec Burnside

Partner

Brussels | 480 Avenue Louise, Box 13A, Brussels, Belgium 1050
+32 2 535 54 33 | +32 2 535 5400

London | 160 Queen Victoria Street, London, UK EC4V 4QQ
+44 20 7184 7444 | +44 20 7184 7001

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Alec practices in the field of EU and UK competition law, working on cartels, dominance, mergers, and state aid, as well as the control of foreign direct investment and EU law more generally. Over the past three decades Mr. Burnside has played key roles for leading corporations, global industries and governments on issues arising across a broad spectrum of industries, including consumer products, energy and natural resources, financial services, manufacturing, military, pharmaceuticals, technology, telecoms, and transport and logistics. He appears before the European Commission and the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority, and in court appeals from their decisions, and is admitted to practice in both England and Belgium. 

He is a noted commentator, inter alia co-authoring the Dechert Antitrust Merger Investigation Timing Tracker (DAMITT),  which is the leading source of analysis for significant U.S. and EU antitrust merger investigation and litigation trends. Alec has been widely published over many years, actively advancing law reform initiatives and exploring new dimensions in competition law. Currently he is particularly invested in the themes around Big Data and the tech industry, as well as antitrust and sustainability, focusing also on the new EU FDI regulation. 

Recently clients noted Mr. Burnside as "one of the icons of the competition Bar in Brussels" because of his "strong analytical skills and intellectual curiosity." (Chambers Global 2018). Mr. Burnside has been recognized and recommended over many years as a leading lawyer for competition law in publications such as Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Legal 500 EMEA, Global Competition Review, International Financial Law Review, and Best Lawyers in Belgium. He was named a “thought leader” in competition by Who’s Who Legal in 2018 and 2019.

Mr. Burnside leads Dechert’s cross-practice Brexit Task Force, comprising partners from across the globe and disciplines including antitrust, corporate, tax, employment, financial services and investment management, IP and data protection, litigation and international arbitration. The purpose of the task force is to lead the firm’s work on the implications of Brexit for Dechert’s clients and to drive the activities that will prepare and support our clients as they prepare for alternative exit scenarios.

Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Burnside was resident in the Brussels office of another international law firm where he served as a partner in the antitrust practice. 

Experience
  • Aer Lingus on its merger with IAG, its defense of successive hostile takeover bids by Ryanair and appeals in the EU's General Court, as well as UK investigations into Ryanair's minority shareholding in Aer Lingus and related UK appeals.
  • Aer Lingus in relation to Ireland’s air passenger tax and associated state aid proceedings before the European Commission and European Courts.
  • Deutsche Post DHL as a third party in relation to the prohibited UPS/TNT merger and the FedEx/TNT merger, and on many acquisitions and other investigations, including international removals and state aid at Leipzig airport.
  • Getty Images and a number of other companies in the IT and media sector, in relation to the European Commission's investigation of Google's abuse of dominance in search on desktops and mobile devices.
  • A Japanese capacitor manufacturer in relation to the Commission’s electrolytic capacitor cartel investigation.
  • Monsanto in relation to merger proposals with Syngenta and Bayer.
  • The European Commission's investigation into alleged manipulation of pricing mechanisms on crude oil and derivative products.
  • Mergers creating BAE Systems, BHP Billiton and GlaxoSmithKline.
  • British American Tobacco on acquisitions, including privatizations in Italy and Turkey.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

Education
  • University of Cambridge, Downing College, 1982
  • College of Law, London, 1983
  • Institut d’Etudes Europeennes, Brussels, 1984
Admissions
  • Brussels
  • England and Wales
Languages
  • French
  • English
  • German
Memberships
  • Associate of the Chartered Institute of Linguists, London
Speaking Engagements
  • 7th Annual MLex Competition Conference  — MLex, London, UK (September 20, 2019)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Speaker, panel on "Trends in antitrust policy: implications for enforcement and litigation"
  • MergerFest 2019 — Cornerstone Research, Brussels, Belgium (June 27, 2019)                                                                                                                                                               Speaker, panel on "Nascent (or Killer?) Acquisitions"                                                                                   
  • European Forum on Foreign Investment Security Reviews and CFIUS — C5, London, UK   (June 20, 2019)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Speaker, panel on "Successful Strategies to Structure a Deal to Pass Clearance: What to do on the Frontend"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  • 23rd annual Dominance conference — KNect, Brussels, Belgium  (June 6, 2019)                                                                                                                                                          Speaker, panel on “Remedies”
  • Trends in Retail Competition: Private Labels, Brands and Competition Policy — University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy, Oxford, UK (May 24, 2019)

    Speaker, panel on  "Keeping digital markets competitive" 
  • 28th Annual Advanced EU Competition Law Conference — Knect365, London, UK (May 15, 2019)

    Speaker, “Competition Law in the Age of Protectionism”
  • 22nd IBA Annual Competition Conference — Presented by the IBA Antitrust Committee, St Regis Hotel, Florence (September 14-15, 2018)

    Speaker, "New Competition Theories of Harm" — a panel on new substantive theories of antitrust harm evolving around the globe, such as the innovation theory of harm in mergers, common ownership concerns, increased scrutiny of vertical mergers, exploitative abuses, and potential new theories around big data and its use.
  • The Path towards Modern EU Competition Policy: a 50+ year retrospective, Brussels (June 21, 2018)

    Presentation Leader, "Competition and Innovation: From a General to a Specific Concern?"
  • Interim measures & EU competition proceedings: Is there a case for reform? Brussels (June 8, 2018)

    Speaker, panel on the limited use of the Commission’s power to order rapid provisional relief, and the pros and cons of possible reforms.
  • Competition Section annual conference 2018: debating key competition law developments, The Law Society, London (May 17, 2018)

    Speaker, "Digital and Emerging Technologies."
  • 26th Annual Advanced EU Competition Law 2017, Brussels, Belgium (November 21, 2017)

    Speaker, "Big Data, Data Rights and Privacy: New Frontier for Competition Law."View Mr. Burnside's presentation slides.
  • Online Markets and Offline Welfare Effects – The Internet, Competition, Society and Democracy — Presented by the University of Oxford Centre for Competition Law and Policy, Pembroke College, Oxford (May 22, 2017)

    Speaker, panel on Digital Economy and Consumer Welfare.
  • Brexit: What Effect Upon the Transport Sector? — Competition Law in the Transport Sector, Novotel Amsterdam City, The Netherlands (January 31, 2017)

    Speaker, panel on ownership restrictions for airlines, the impact of Brexit on the UK as a venue for damages litigation, and Open Skies post- Brexit.
  • Has Antitrust Failed?: Antitrust Law Section Annual Meeting — Presented by the New York State Bar Association, New York, NY (January 26, 2017)

    Speaker, “Has Antitrust Failed?” — a panel on whether antitrust has allowed too much concentration, whether the global high-tech, big data companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook already seized control of big data, and whether consolidation has negative implications for innovation, consumer choice, and other competitive effects.
  • Big Data and Competition Law 2016 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (October 25, 2016)
  • EDPS-BEUC Conference on Big Data: Individual Rights and Smart Enforcement — European Data Protection Supervisor, Brussels (September 29, 2016)
  • Competition Law Challenges in the Transport Sector — IBC Legal Conferences, London (January 27, 2016)
  • Antitrust, Regulation and New Business Models — Jevons Institute for Competition Law and Economics, Washington, D.C. (November 3, 2015)
  • A Quarter Century of EUMR: What Next in the World of Merger Control? — MLex Market Insight, Brussels (October 6, 2015)
  • 3rd Annual GCR Live — GIR, New York (September 18, 2015)
  • The Role of 'Big Data' in Competition Law — British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London (September 9, 2015)
  • GCR Live 4th Annual Telecoms, Media & Technology — GCR, London (July 2, 2015)
  • Competition Law in the Aviation Sector 2015 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (January 29, 2015)
  • EU Competition Law — QED 2014 EU Competition Law Summit, Brussels (September 11, 2014)
  • Competition Law Challenges in the Financial Services Sector 2014 — IBC Legal Conferences, London (July 12, 2014)
  • Conflicts of Interest, Ethical Rules and Impartiality in EU Competition Policy — Concurrences, Brussels (April 24, 2014)
  • International Forum EU Competition Law — Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht, Brussels (April 3, 2014)
  • Dominance & Pricing 2014 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (March 18, 2014)
  • GCR Live 3rd Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum — GCR, Miami (February 7, 2014)
  • Competition Law Challenges in the Aviation Sector 2014 — IBC Legal Conferences, Brussels (February 4, 2014)
  • 12th Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute — Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2013)
  • EU Merger Control in Review - Taking Stock — GCLC, Brussels (July 12, 2013)
  • BSB Careers Day — The British School of Brussels, Brussels (October 22, 2012)